Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by a range of symptoms persisting for at least two weeks. According to the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, clinical depression requires a minimum of five symptoms among which one should be a; depressed mood most of the day or nearly every day; or markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities of the day, nearly every day. Although the prevalence of depression is similar in pregnant, postpartum and non-pregnant women, the onset of new depression is higher during the prenatal period. Women of low-income and those living in low and middle income countries are known to beat particularly high risk. Early identification and treatment of antenatal depression may thus improve pregnancy outcomes and could serve as an early indicator of postnatal depression. Current estimates of the prevalence of depression during pregnancy vary widely. A more precise estimate is then required to identify the levels of disease burden and develop strategies for managing depressive disorders. In Zambia no studies have been done to determine the prevalence of antenatal depression. It is the possible that depression often goes unnoticed and therefore untreated. With this in mind, this study therefore aims at estimating the prevalence of depression during pregnancy. It also aims at examining and gaining a better understanding of the presentation of depressive symptomatology in this population.
Prof. Dr. Bilal BİLGİN